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Gang sweep catches 8

Sheriff’s deputies arrest members of a gang ‘terrorizing’ Newhall

Posted: August 26, 2009 9:13 p.m.
Updated: August 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

Sheriff's deputies netted eight alleged gang members and a cache of weapons in a series of early morning raids Wednesday, exposing a growing gang problem in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The raid, conducted by a multi-agency taskforce, took aim at a Newhall-area gang that sheriff's deputies said has grown increasingly violent over the past two years.

"These gang members were terrorizing and intimidating the local residents and businesses of Newhall," said Captain Anthony La Berge of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

The eight suspects arrested included alleged gang members wanted for assault with a deadly weapon, possession of narcotics, parole and probation violations and outstanding arrest warrants, said sheriff's Sgt. Darren Harris.

Deputies would not release the names of those arrested nor the name of the gang, saying a continuing investigation could lead to more arrests. However, they said most of the gang's members lived and operated their criminal enterprise in the Newhall area.

The Wednesday morning arrests were the culmination of close to a year's worth of investigative work, said SCV sheriff's Detective Dan Finn.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies from as far away as Compton joined local deputies in the raids, as well as county probation officials and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. 

The group raided 19 locations in the Santa Clarita Valley on their hunt for gang members.

Deputies executed the search warrant to recover the gang members and evidence in a recent string of gang-related crimes in Newhall, Harris said.

Gang activity in the Santa Clarita Valley has increased during the last two years, sheriff's officials said.

The gang targeted in Wednesday's raid has become more violent in their tactics and bolder in their actions, Finn said.

"We've had a number of assaults where firearms were used," he said, noting the increased gang-related violence in the area.

"We will not stop pursuing these active gang members if they choose to continue or engage in this violent criminal lifestyle in our incredible community," La Berge said.

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